Being able to measure how much we can improve also means we can measure how much we are not. For example, wearable technologies like the Apple Watch or Whoop wristband are fun until they reflect something we don’t want to see.
The truths these technologies suggest about ourselves (or at least the data that supports a hypothesis) should compel most of us to act. With the increasing breadth and complexity of data wearable technology can provide, and the declining cost of these technologies making it accessible to almost everyone, why are we not seeing a direct correlation between industry growth and human wellness?
The data wearables provide can help shape an understanding of our selves, and even compel action to improve metrics we believe are aligned with out well being, but can the technology help us make meaningful and lasting change?
Creating an objective and selecting a measurable metric to signal progress is relatively easy. And let’s assume the objective is well-founded. The harder part is identifying and recognizing the obstacles on the path to that objective. This is where ambition often disconnects with achievement. I want that tomorrow, but I don’t want to do this today.
Our motivations are key to driving our behavior, and while we can reflect and evaluate what causes us to act, changing how we consistently and persistently act requires more than metrics and milestones. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as wanting to. We all want to be healthier, fitter, smarter. It requires a deeper reflection on our why.
Until health and fitness wearable technologies are integrated with a yet to be developed personal human psychology platform, the value of sensor technology advancement, the oceans of data available to analyze and visualize, and the actions we take to reach our goals, will face diminishing returns.